Friday, January 26, 2007

The partisanship never ends...

Here is the letter sent today from the Prime Minister to Maher Arar, I post it without comment however the emphasis is mine:

Dear Mr. Arar:

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to apologize to you, Monia Mazigh and your family for any role Canadian officials may have played in the terrible ordeal that all of you experienced in 2002 and 2003.

Although these events occurred under the last government, please rest assured that this government will do everything in its power to ensure that the issues raised by Commissioner O’Connor are addressed.

I trust that, having arrived at a negotiated settlement, we have ensured that fair compensation will be paid to you and your family. I sincerely hope that these words and actions will assist you and your family in your efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in your lives.

Yours sincerely,
Stephen Harper
UPDATE: Maxwell House and BCer in Toronto offer their comments.


Amanda said...

Kudos to Harper - he did the right thing.
It's a shame what happened to Arar.
The previous govt., the RCMP, the US and Syria all were complicit and should shoulder blame. Hopefully the US and Syria will rectify their mistakes as well.

Anonymous said...

If US admits its crime then they will have to pay Arar as well and many innocent detainees of Gautama Bay. They will try everything to avoid that. Very simple.

Anonymous said...

Devil's Advocate Time. Shouldn't we even be a little bit curious as to why Arar is still a concern for the US? What has them still concerned and why was Arar a concern in the first place?

Anonymous said...

Canadian authorities are privy to the information US has on Arar and they still say he is innocent.

Imagine the billions of dollars Bushco has to pay to innocent people like Arar and hundreds of tortured at Gautama Bay. You got the reason.

Jeff said...

Wow...when El Stevo passes the buck, he really passes the buck! In a fawning attempt to gain credibility in the eyes of the Canadian public, our fearless leader uses 'weasel words' to attempt to distance his government from the sins of the past. Funny...I could swear that this was a national stain. I can't say that I would blame the Liberals for this. I can't even say I'd hang it on the RCMP. I see the Arar affair as a systemic failure that is holding our political and legal infrastructure up to the unflattering light of day.

Mr. Harper represents the people of this nation. Why would he sidestep the shame that lands on us all? In Canada, we take the lumps and move on to do a better job next time. No finger pointing, 'cuz that makes a bunch of 'em point back at you and they're each tattooed with the word 'Afghanistan'.

Who ya gonna blame for that one, El Stevo? Hmmm?

Brian in Calgary said...

To amanda - All parties whom you name should shoulder the blame. Too bad we can't send the bill for the settlement to the Syrian Embassy. Actually, now that I think of it, we could, but it sure wouldn't be worth the postage.

To anonymous @ 9:01 AM - No comment. Your anti-American bias speaks for itself.

To anonymous @ 2:32 PM - Good questions. But, I don't think we'll get any answers anytime soon.

To anonymous @4:57 PM - On what basis do you say that Canadian authorities are privy to that which the US has on Arar? What is your source? Please enlighten us.

To jeff - I agree that this is a national stain. But, if the roles were reversed, and a Liberal government were trying to distance itself from the sins of a Tory government, would you still take the same attitude? It sure doesn't seem so - when you mention "Afghanistan" you conveniently forget that it was a LIBERAL government that sent Canadian troops there, a decision still supported by the majority of Liberal leadership candidates.